I’m falling asleep on the job, folks. The L.A. Times story on Eason Jordan’s resignation had this absurd paragraph:
While at CNN, Jordan also had provoked many activists and critics in an April 2003 opinion piece in the New York Times. Jordan asserted that he sometimes could not allow his network to report all it had learned during the intense early days of combat in Iraq, for fear that releasing certain confidential information would put lives in jeopardy.
Ha! Power Line reports that alert L.A. Times reader Diana Magrann wrote the “Readers’ Representative” to suggest a more accurate version of reality:
In April 2003, Jordan admitted in a New York Times opinion piece that CNN had withheld knowledge of numerous instances of Saddam’s brutality in order to maintain access.
Given the paper’s past demonstrated inability to correctly interpret op-ed pieces, it comes as a pleasant surprise that the “Readers’ Representative” is recommending a correction. Thanks to Ms. Magrann for keeping the paper honest. She can guest-blog here any time. (Thanks to Xrlq for the pointer to the Power Line post.)
UPDATE: The correction, which also touches on the mistake in referring to a link to Roger L. Simon, is technically accurate but ridiculously devoid of content:
CNN resignation — An article Saturday in Section A about the resignation of Eason Jordan, CNN’s vice president and chief news executive, said that a website called Easongate.com offered a clearinghouse of criticism related to Jordan’s statements about journalists killed by U.S. troops in Iraq, including a link to “mainstream columnists such as Roger L. Simon.” In fact, one link is to a website and blog by Roger L. Simon, a mystery writer and screenwriter, not Roger Simon, the columnist for U.S. News & World Report. The article also said that in an April 2003 opinion piece in the New York Times, Jordan wrote that he did not allow his network to report all it had learned “during the intense early days of combat in Iraq, for fear that releasing certain confidential information would put lives in jeopardy.” Jordan’s essay was about his network’s coverage in the years preceding the war as well as in the early days of the war.
Instead of the bolded language, what was wrong with Diana Magrann’s language? This way, even with the correction, L.A. Times readers never learn about the scandal of Jordan’s decision to cover up Saddam’s brutality in order to keep a CNN bureau in Baghdad. That can’t be the right way to handle this correction.
UPDATE x2: If you look at Jordan’s op-ed itself, there is only one incident described there that even arguably could have occurred after the war began. The vast majority of the incidents he described occurred well before the beginning of the current war.